Stocks in the News: Goldman Sachs, UnitedHealth, IBM

The following is a round-up of news likely to affect stock prices today:

Goldman Sachs (GS) will continue to be in the spotlight as the U.K. Financial Services Authority launched a fresh probe into Goldman Sachs International, citing the Securities and Exchange Commission's fraud charge against the parent. Goldman also reported Tuesday its first-quarter net income just about doubled to $3.3 billion, or $5.59 a share, from $1.66 billion, or $3.39 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $12.78 billion from $9.43 billion. Analysts expected earnings of $4.16 a share and revenue of $11 billion, according to FactSet Research.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) reported Tuesday earnings of $1.03 per share, easily topping Wall Street estimate of 69 cents per share. Revenue climbed 5% on better-than-expected membership and services growth. The insurer also gave a 2010 earnings and revenue forecast above analysts' estimates. Shares climbed 3.4% ahead of the bell.

Novartis AG (NVS) reported its net profit grew 49% to $2.95 billion during the first quarter as sales increased 25% to $12.13 billion on strong sales of swine flu vaccine. The results beat analyst expectations for a net profit of $2.49 billion. Shares were nearly 1% higher in premarket trades.

IBM Corp. (IBM) late Monday reported its first-quarter profit jumped 13% to $2.6 billion, or $1.97 per share, as revenue climbed 5% to $22.9 billion. The results beat analyst estimate of $1.93 per share on revenue of $22.8 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. However, some division sales disappointed investors. Shares fell some 1.8% before the bell.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Yahoo (YHOO) are among those due to report after the close.

Daimler AG (DAI) raised its full-year outlook and reported better-than-expected pre-tax earnings for the first quarter.

Earnings in brief:
  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) reported results that were slightly better than forecast as sales rose 4%.
  • Coca-Cola (KO) reported a 19% rise in profit due to strong sales overseas, beating earnings estimates but not sales.
  • Harley-Davidson (HOG) first-quarter profit fell 71% as revenue declined 19% on falling motorcycle sales. But results still beat estimates.
  • Coach (COH) fiscal third-quarter profit rose 37% as revenue climbed 12%, beating estimates. Coach is also doubling its annual cash dividend to 60 cents per share. It also said it plans to repurchase as much as $1 billion shares by June 30, 2012.
  • Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (BK) first-quarter profit topped expectations, as rising financial markets boosted its assets under custody and fee revenue.
Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) raised the quarterly dividend 9.5% to 48.18 cents a share from 44 cents.

Google (GOOG) received letters from officials in Germany, Canada, France and seven other countries, raising privacy concerns to Google's CEO over Google Buzz.

Union Pacific Corp. (UNP) had its ratings outlook raised to positive from stable by Standard & Poor's.

Zions Bancorp (ZION) reported late Monday a quarterly net loss of $86.5 million, or 57 cents a share. Even after excluding one time items, the company beat expectations for a loss of 95 cents a share. Shares jumped 2.2% before the bell.

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